Friday, March 31, 2006

Should the U.S. Pull Out of Iraq?

The College Republicans at the University of Wisconsin - Madison hosted a panel discussion March 28 on a local referendum calling on President Bush to bring all U.S. troops home from Iraq. The panel included Iraq veterans Kevin Lewis, Greg Seidlitz and Mike Hahn; thank you for your service.

Hahn said if the United States pulls out of Iraq tomorrow, the country will turn into chaos. "You can discuss why we were there in the first place, but the point is we're there now, and we have to [do] it right."

Also on the panel was retired Wisconsin National Guardsman Bill Richardson, treasurer of "Vote No to Cut and Run," an advocacy group that supports keeping troops in Iraq.

Mr. Richardson, thank you for your service and for participating in our democracy. However, as your website does not encourage healthy heterosexual Americans under 40 to consider military service, you're not really supporting the troops. If our national leadership cannot convince real Americans to Be A Man! Enlist!, we might as well cut our losses.

Chris Dols of the International Socialist Organization called the College Republicans "cowards" and had to be escorted out by police.

That took some courage, more than the College Republicans have.

Please work with Operation Yellow Elephant to Save America.


At 31 March, 2006 16:59, Blogger Angry Veteran said...


Good post and I like your blog. It is true that many of the biggest proponents of starting the invasion and maintaining the occupation of Iraq are chickenhawks.

As an OIF veteran, they disgust me. They disgust me in military matters in general, and in regards to OIF in particular.

Sadly, military recruitment is much less about ideology and much more about economics. The horrors of war are lived through by the children of the poor and the working poor.

At 01 April, 2006 00:41, Blogger sailerfraud said...

I know this is from November 2005, but Rush Limbaugh's fraudulent Adopt-a-Soldier program is still in place. It's always good to revisit these things to warn the public of fraud and lies.

At 02 April, 2006 19:16, Anonymous James Simakas said...

To aggressively and mindlessly shout "ENLIST!" at every passer-by (or achieve the equivalent with one's web page)would be exactly the kind of irresponsible, jingoistic act that Republicans are so often accused of.

Military service is not something to be taken lightly. The military is a very ordered and regimented existence that is very heavy on procedure and discipline. In addition, no matter what your recruiter may tell you, once you enlist, to a large extent Uncle Sam can do whatever he wants with you.

Historically, the military was the last resort for those who couldn't hack it elsewhere; as a recently published article on this site says, a great many military recruits score very, very low in IQ and aptitude tests. This is not a recent development; the armed forces have always had very low standards in the smarts department. After all, it is the Army: you jump over walls, swim through lakes, wade through marshes, dig foxholes, latrines and trenches, and shoot people. A great deal of what the Army does is gruntwork, pure and simple, and almost anybody can do it, but it is hard, demanding work that many people simply are not cut out for. Thus, for most of modern history the Army was not the prime choice of a career for most folk (unless they could get in as an officer.)

However, these days education is much more accessible to many more people, and with the massive numbers of student scholarships available, many more people are able to attend college then in the 20's, 30's 40's. Thus, among the young men (and women!) of America, there is a far greater percentage who aspire to greater things than what the army promises.

Or I should say, used to promise. The Army has obviously realized that they need to catch up with the times, and because of this, the Army scholarship and trade school programs are giving away benefits that are absolutely obscene. This affords great opportunities to low-income young men, most of which wouldn't have a shot at college at all without the Army's funding.

It should also be noted that the Army is the only service branch that is having a rough time recruiting. The Marines, what with their reputation and standards of excellence, have a much easier time, and the Air Force, with it's avowed need for highly trained technicians and the like, actually have too many recruits; i.e. all the ones that didn't want to join the Army.

What does all this mean? It means that the men and women who have joined the Army, many of them before the war started, are dedicated people that want to be soldiers for a career. Only such dedicated individuals sign up for such a demanding job. They are confident in their motivations and in their physical and mental abilities to withstand the rigors that mark a career soldier. Most people, including Joe Republican, are just not cut out to be good soldiers, so telling every one that you meet on the street to run down to the recruiting station makes no sense. Signing up for military service is a serious and life-altering decision, one that every individual must make for himself.

And a side note: Name-calling (like the Socialist who called the Republicans “cowards”) requires absolutely no courage at all if you know there is no chance of reprisal, and especially if you know that there are a million people who will instantly pat you on the back and call you “brave” for it (like this blog did.)

At 03 April, 2006 17:39, Blogger Karl said...

Thank you for your comments. OYE has some fine print that didn't fit in our slogan. Let me try to explain.

We don't mindlessly shout "ENLIST!" at every passer-by. Instead, we urge those who are eligible to serve and support the war to consider serving in the military themselves. [The key word is "consider."]

We also urge those not personally eligible to serve who support the war to encourage their eligible relatives and friends, their circles of influence, to consider serving.

Those who have considered the military, but decided not to serve, should share the results of their deliberations; it's relevant to their arguments in support of continued U.S. military engagement in Iraq, among other places. Those with some courage have done so.

You are quite correct that military service is not for everyone, but if our nation is to achieve the objectives set by our political leadership, it must be for someone. We're asking the future leadership of our governing party to show that they are worthy of the powers entrusted to them by the American people.

Through 2004, our Army was actually turning away prospects who met the minimum requirements, because our national leaders had motivated sufficient well-qualified patriots that recruiters could select those best suited to military service. Those servicemembers have done great things and deserve our thanks and respect.

Beginning in 2005, however, that's no longer the case. Even the Marines missed a couple of monthly recruiting quotas, though the finished the fiscal year OK. And it's the Army and the Marines that are bearing the greatest burden in Iraq.

So, do you have any suggestions? If our national leadership cannot convince sufficient well-qualified real Americans to consider military service (for the time being, if not a full career), I see no alternative to limiting our international ambitions to our capabilities. How do you feel about that?

By the way, if you're going to put the word "brave" in quotes, please be certain that we actually said it. I said it took courage for the Socialist to call the College Republicans "cowards," and it did, as he otherwise faced death by debate.

We welcome further comments, specifically re what our nation should do before our Army breaks.


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